• Preetam Zare

{Day-02} Learning VMware Cloud Foundation

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

Cloud Foundation will configure NSX to backup to the SDDC Manager by default. It is recommended to change this to backup to your own external location. This ensures that in the case of a failure a good backup of NSX is available for restore.

VCF can be deployed in two different Architecture

Consolidated : Here you create single WLD and merge everything in to it. So you can have multiple cluster e.g. MGMT, VDI, VI and etc. I wonder if it is compliant under VMware validated Designs (VVDs).

Standardized: As the name suggest, dedicated WLDs for the purpose e.g. Horizon, VI

To manage the logical infrastructure in the private cloud, Cloud Foundation augments the VMware virtualization and management components with a new component, SDDC Manager. SDDC Manager automates the bring up, configuration, and provisioning of the entire SDDC stack. SDDC Manager also automates the lifecycle management of the stack. From this interface, the IT administrator can provision new private cloud resources, monitor changes to the logical infrastructure, and manage life cycle and other operational activities.

  1. SDDC Manager now sits on top of everything but you can do all management through respective interfaces e.g. vCenter, vRA, VRI

  2. SDDC manager primarily responsible for LCM of SDDC stack. LCM included automatic upgrade and patch management.

  3. E.g. Tasks could be addition, removal of WLD, patching and upgrading.

  4. Automatic Addition of clusters to the domain or expansion of WLD or cluster within WLD

What is WLD?

A workload domain consists of one or more vSphere clusters, provisioned automatically by SDDC Manager.

You prepare your environment for Cloud Foundation by installing a baseline ESXi image on vSAN ReadyNodes.

  • So first we must install ESXi hosts on vSAN ReadyNodes. Sometimes readynodes also have ESXi pre-installed.

After the hosts are physically racked and cabled, Cloud Foundation uses the physical network details you provide (such as DNS, IP address pool, and so on) to automate the bring-up and configuration of the software stack.

  • So there is pre-requisite sheet and the procedure is a new topic in itself. The process is called Bring-Up. I will add further details here.

During Bring-up, the management domain (MGMTDOM) is created on the 4 hosts you have specified. When the bring-up process completes, you have a functional management domain and can start provisioning VI workload domains.

Consolidated Architecture

The consolidated architecture design targets smaller Cloud Foundation deployments and special use cases. In this design, the management and user workload domains run together on a shared management domain. The environment is managed from a single vCenter Server and vSphere resource pools provide isolation between management and user workloads. In a consolidated architecture model, care must be taken to ensure that resource pools are properly configured as the domain is shared by the management and compute workloads.

The consolidated architecture does not support NSX-T or the automated deployment of Horizon and Enterprise PKS.

As you add additional hosts to a Cloud Foundation system deployed on a consolidated architecture, you can convert to the standard architecture by creating a VI workload domain and moving the user workload domain VMs from the compute resource pool to the newly created VI workload domain. After moving these VMs, you may need to update shares and reservations on the compute resource pool in the management domain.


  • It targets small deployments, I guess branch office. But now you can imagine why VCF 3.9 supports federation. I have copied text related Multi-instance management to elaborate on this topic.

  • Builds confidence in architecture.

  • All eggs in single basket concept

Do not work

  • Do not support NSX-T. This means not suitable for Hybrid cloud as you cannot extend with NSX-T

  • No Automatic deployment of Horizon and Enterprise PKS. Automatic deployment may not be big problem as it will be smaller infrastructure automation may not add value to it.

  • It does not state but apparently there is limit of 6 hosts.

Best thing about it

  • You have the possibility to convert it to standard architecture

Multi-Instance Management

Multiple Cloud Foundation instances can be managed together by grouping them into a federation, such that each member can view information about the entire federation and the individual instances within it. Federation members can view inventory across the Cloud Foundation instances in the federation as well as the available and used aggregate capacity (CPU, memory, and storage). This allows you to maintain control over the different sites and ensure that they are operating with the right degree of freedom and meeting compliance regulations for your industry. It also simplifies patch management by showing the number of patches available across sites in the global view.

#SSDC #Learning #VCF


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